Couples in Partnership

Survival in a hugely crowded restaurant market poses a serious challenge but those with steadfast ideals and uncompromising stand on quality can expect to remain strong assuring daily food on their family table.

New Zealanders are increasingly becoming discerning diners with proclivities towards Indian cuisine, which in turn strengthens the resolve of those to offer only the best.

JP Singh, Nipul and Dimple Girish, who own iVillage Restaurant at Victoria Market in the heart of Auckland, are renowned for the Midas Touch, with a fragrance of success of every enterprise in which they have been involved for the past ten years.

Successful trio

Soon after they migrated from their native India in 2003, Nipul and Dimple partnered with JP Singh (who had arrived in the country nine years earlier from Noida in Uttar Pradesh) in the success of a number of well-known European Bars and Restaurants.

These include ‘Cin Cin on Quay,’ ‘Killarney Street Bar & Brasserie,’ ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen,’ ‘Exchange Bar’ and ‘Puro Restaurant.’

Dimple, Nipul and JP provide the three ingredients to success in the food business, respectively with sound knowledge of different cuisines, human resource and financial management skills and strategic direction and vision.

Impressive people

A number of competitors considered iVillage as a late arrival in a market that had little room for new enterprises; but less than a week after its official inauguration on April 11, 2013, it became an iconic restaurant, with an increasing clientele.

“From your second visit, those who had served you earlier would remember your taste and preference of dishes and ask if you would like a repeat; or suggest new menus that Dimple tries almost every day. You develop a certain fondness to the restaurant and its people that you would automatically call them for reservation when you consider hosting a party or enjoying a simple lunch or dinner with your partner. There is an unmistakable charm about this place,” a regular diner said.

Yesteryear charm

This restaurant has yet another unique attribute- it is a part of a Heritage Centre that is representative of cultural dialogue that dates back centuries.

Nipul and Dimple said that Victoria Park Market offers the Yesteryear charm and that the rural and rustic theme provides a relaxing atmosphere with an ambience that embellishes authentic cuisine and genuine customer care.

“Our team had a dream of setting up an Indian eatery that would do us all proud; an establishment where the setting would be authentically and rustically Indian in a class of its own. iVillage sets a new benchmark for excellence,” they said.

If compliance with the provisions of the exacting Resource Management Act proves to be expensive and time-consuming for any property, it was even more challenging the owners of iVillage who had an uphill task in seeking permission at a heritage site.

Several hurdles

“There were a series of hurdles that we had to cross and there was a time when we wondered if the exercise and risks would be worthwhile. We were frustrated no doubt but we were in no mood to give up. The feedback and appreciation has made this unique effort worthwhile,” Nipul said.

While JP is engaged in a number of other business ventures, iVillage is predominantly ‘a Girish baby.’ While Nipul is involved in the overall management and policy decisions, Dimple runs the restaurant, with their son Smeet attending to special events and functions.

“Smeet resigned from his job at Air Zealand recently to concentrate on this family business, bringing zest and passion to the team,” she said.

Quoting John Ruskin, a famous art critic of the Victorian Era, Nipul said, “There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey.”

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